Merienda – or minindal – is a time-honored tradition in this country. A light meal or snack in the afternoon often figures as highlights in our childhood, and carries on to our adulthood in the form of coffee breaks.
During a recent meetup with my OFW friend, Tina, I revisited this childhood experience with classic merienda fare at Bench Cafe in BGC.
Bench Cafe is an offshoot of the top Filipino clothing brand Bench in partnership with restaurant developer Foodee Global Concepts. This restaurant brand centers around its concept of combining traditional and modern takes on Filipino food.
Its flagship store in BGC also provides a posh yet comfortable background in which diners can fully enjoy its Pinoy dishes. Tables and chairs are amply spaced in a spacious floor space brightly lit with both natural light and pendant lighting and tastefully highlighted with wall art.
This well-appointed eatery served as our venue for a long-awaited get-together. Due to quarantine restrictions, Tina was unable to come home to the Philippines for two years so I jumped at the chance to check out Bench Cafe’s OG branch for our meetup.
Our merienda included:
Pancit Guisado (Php259 good for two | Php420 good for four).
A hearty dish of stir-fried noodles mixed with meat, shrimp and vegetables, and topped with pork rind, this dish is usually a highlight for many of my afternoon snack times at home.
Flan B (Php219).
Bench Cafe’s version of the Pinoy classic custard and caramel dessert topped with macapuno, always a sweet and creamy indulgence!
Classic Turon ala Mode (Php55).
A crispy fritter made with banana encased in lumpia wrapper with caramelized sugar topped with ube ice cream, another merienda staple.
Ube Halo Halo (Php99/12oz | Php145/16oz).
A thirst quenching dessert and icy beverage made with coconut shaved ice with garbanzos, caramelized banana, leche flan and nata de coco topped with ube ice cream and rice krispies.
These Pinoy favorites on the table and my dear friend to catch up with made my merienda experience at Bench Cafe so special.
Check it out! Drop by this branch at the second floor of Bench’s flagship store at 9th Avenue corner Lane O Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global Citt, Taguig, open daily from 10am to 7pm.
Other branches are located at:
- Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
- Ground Floor, Padre Faura Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
You may also order for delivery via GrabFood.